Tina's travels promote skateboarding

SHE was the driving force behind bringing skateboarding facilities to Suffolk, and now Tina Wiles has joined the sport's governing body.The mother-of-two from Ipswich joined the board of the new organisation while on a fact-finding trip to the United States to learn more about skatepark development.

SHE was the driving force behind bringing skateboarding facilities to Suffolk, and now Tina Wiles has joined the sport's governing body.

The mother-of-two from Ipswich joined the board of the new organisation while on a fact-finding trip to the United States to learn more about skatepark development.

Mrs Wiles, 42, a founder of the UK's Skatepark Association, had a £5,000 travelling fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

She worked on a project to a develop a skatepark at the famous Venice Beach, California, and helped to organise skateboarding "street jams" in Compton, downtown Los Angeles, to bring children from different neighbourhoods together.


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"Every weekend they bring ramps out on to the streets to help kids keep away from drugs and gangs – it was quite an experience," said Mrs Wiles.

During the trip, she also visited different types of park with varying designs and attended a trade show in Las Vegas for the skate and surf industry.

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She then helped to form the world skateboarding body, with representatives from Australia, Canada, the US and the UK, and attended the X-Games in Philadelphia, featuring skateboarding, wakeboarding and BMX riding among other sports.

"Going to America has been a real eye-opener and it has helped so much speaking to the experts," she added.

Mrs Wiles, of Heath Road, helped to raise £170,000 for a skatepark near Stoke Bridge in Ipswich. She was inspired by her sons, Harley, 20, and Ben, 17, who are both keen BMX riders.

"The amount of work involved has got has got out of control," said Mrs Wiles, who works at Seckford Hall Hotel in Woodbridge. "The skatepark in Ipswich is doing really well and there is so much going on across Suffolk, not to mention further afield."

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